Sunday, 5 November 2017

Orange and Cinnamon Spiced Poppy Seed Porridge

On a cold Autumnal morning, there's nothing quite like waking up to the feeling of clasping a bowlful of porridge to warm your hands and soul, getting you ready for the day ahead. I just love this time of year, when the leaves start falling off the trees and in all manner of colours...they pave the floor in a rainbow of ruby to yellow hues. 

As the days grow colder and shorter, I really struggle to wake up for those early morning lectures, especially with the horror of it still being dark outside. Sometimes, the only thing that will bring me to get out of bed is the thoughts of a lovely warming breakfast and out of everything - porridge hits the spot perfectly! 

I know some of you might say porridge can be too much of an effort for early mornings when you need to be rushing about to get ready for the day, but honestly, taking the little time out to make proper good porridge (yes the proper way is NOT IN THE MICROWAVE) is soooo worth it. 

I prefer my porridge to be bold in flavour and textures, otherwise, let's face it, porridge can be pretty boring, it's basically just a heap of blandness and who really wants that??  The flavours and aromas of cinnamon and orange remind me very much of the build up to christmas, some might say it's too early to be even mentioning the word but I think once halloween has passed, it is an acceptable starting point to be thinking of festivities. The christmas spice of cinnamon, combined with the sweet smelling orange zest certainly does the trick in this quintessentially wintery breakfast fare. 

It is rare in the early mornings that I will ever bump into a flat mate in my uni digs kitchen, so I will always just make porridge for myself. I feel that unless you're making it for all the family, this is the sorta recipe when servings for 1 are a normality and so I've provided easy cup measurements to follow for 1 portion only. However, it can easily be doubled, tripled... you get the point. I find the easiest and most early morning-foolproof method is the american way = with cups. Don't worry if you don't have an official cup measurement though, as any normal small drinking mug or teacup would work fine. The rule here is that for every 1/2 cup oats, you double the quantity of liquid. Through years of experimentation, me and my mum had many porridge phases of testing all sorts of methods. We found this to be the best and creamiest way, with half milk (almond), and half water which constitutes together as the liquid part. You may think, but how can water be creamier than using all milk, but trust me, it works. 

Try adding different berries and nuts each morning to keep it interesting. 

Orange and Cinnamon Spiced Poppy Seed Porridge

Serves 1


50g (1/2 cup) porridge oats
120ml (1/2 cup) unsweetened almond milk
120ml (1/2 cup) water
1 tsp poppy seeds, plus extra for topping
1/8 tsp (a pinch) ground cinnamon
zest 1/2 large orange
small handful of pistachios, chopped
small handful of raspberries
Drizzle of honey


Place the porridge oats in a small saucepan with the milk and water, then add the poppy seeds, cinnamon and the orange zest. Heat slowly over the hob on medium, stirring all the time. 

Once the porridge reaches the thickness and consistency you prefer, usually when it starts to release a bubble or two, remove it from the heat immediately and decant into your bowl. Top with chopped pistachios, raspberries and a good drizzle of honey to sweeten it to your liking. Serve straight away. 

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